Yesterday in the Christmas devotional, Elder Duncan’s story about his first Christmas in the mission cracked me up because it’s so accurate. It’s straight up summer here and everything is different but it’s the best. Like he said, even though some things are hard, it’s so easy to love the people here. I love Peru and the people here are the best. I’m so blessed to be a missionary :)
One of the best people we know is Manuel who was baptized on Saturday! (Just look at the pictures to see how much of a joker he is. It kills me. *He posed all the pictures). We had like 4 heart attacks because he started a new job – which is a good thing because he was looking for work – and never had time for his baptism interview and was really worried about having to work on Sundays. But we were praying so hard and he talked to his boss and got Saturday and Sunday off and the baptism was great :) He’s so happy.
That’s my favorite part of being a missionary. Just seeing the happiness and light that people have in their lives from living the gospel of Jesus Christ!!!! God is so good. Love you all
His conversion story is way crazy (starts when he was walking his dogs and we talked to him in the street, involves 2 robberies, 2 baptisms and 3 capillas in one day, all the YSA/JAS (Young Single Adults/Jovenes Adultos Solteros) in the ward, and the Book of Mormon) but he’s one of the most prepared people I’ve ever been able to teach. His testimony of the gospel, of the Book of Mormon, and of prayer is such an example to me.
Jesus always says that you feel the spirit in people’s smiles. It’s the truth. And being a missionary is the happiest thing on earth. We’re just smiling non-stop because our ward members are the best (they bring our investigators to church), the people we teach are progressing, and its almost December and people are all excited to talk about Jesus Christ. Other than that, we’re still so crazy blessed every day here in Bolivar. The people here are the best. I love being a missionary.
I’m so excited for the Christmas initiative of the church! #illuminaelmundo #lighttheworld
(Light the world! Check out the video on mormon.org and get ready to serve people every day of December until Christmas!!)
(Also, shoutout to Jesus because he said he looked up my blog this week and read it so…)
Anyways, enjoy the photos!
Editor’s Note: Whoa! You can’t just drop “…2 robberies, 2 baptisms and 3 capillas…” and not explain…
One week later…
The first day we taught him (Jesus), we invited him to a baptism (de Nora). From there he met the JAS (YSA) and went to the institute building with them and also a party in the other chapel, and then they all came back because we had the surprise baptism of Juliana.
Then he was really busy and we could never teach him but he was best friends with the JAS and then he got robbed 2x in one day which made him realize the need to humble himself and trust in God. That day he called us and was like, “Hermanas, quiero ser Mormón/Sisters, I want to be Mormon”.
He’s the best. He recieved the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday and was crying he was so happy.
Happy Thanksgiving!!! I’m so so so blessed and thankful for too many things to write in an email.
-Lots of miracles.
-The YSA (Young Single Adults) of this ward are on fire. They help us so much with our investigators.
-Highlight: Face-to-face broadcast with Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard. They answered questions from around the world – including Peru :))) and three of our investigators went and had super spiritual experiences.
-Our investigator Fabiana participated in the primary program on Sunday!
-We hardly taught any lessons without members. Our ward is killin’ it!
Most of all, I’m thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. I’m thankful that I can be better every day thanks to Him. I’m thankful that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ and was called as a prophet. I’m thankful for living prophets and their counsel that helps us know how we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. I’m thankful for the Book of Mormon and the way it teaches all the truths of the gospel and changes the lives of the people who sincerely want to get closer to God. I’m thankful for all the incredible people here that we teach every day. It’s incredible. I’m thankful to be able to represent Jesus Christ here in Lima, Peru and help people experience this change in their lives and be happy :)
I hit my 9 month mark. Not sure when all that time passed but it’s gone by super quickly. I’m so happy to have spent the past 9 months here in Peru serving the Lord and sharing the restored gospel :)
INTERCAMBIOS: I got to be companions with Hermana Machuruti (my trainer) again! She’s one of my favorite people ever. It was so much fun. (see pic)
There was a dog running around sacrament meeting. It’s a peruvian dog (picture attached) and it’s name is Stitch which kills me because it looks like an alien. (Side Note: Peruvian dogs all look like this but there are dogs of all sizes just all bald and creepy looking. Also people say that they can cure cancer…? No se.)
Multizone conference: We had a mini Thanksgiving feast.
This week I read the story of Alma the Younger. It’s always been one of my favorites. I love that thanks to our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can change. Alma was one of the vilest of sinners but afterwards you can see such a great change. Its incredible to see this change in all the people we are teaching!!!
This week was incredible! I think every week I say that we are seeing SO MANY MIRACLES but it’s true, especially these past few days. #blessed
Our district leader called us and was like “What are you guys doing to find so many people to teach?” and the answer is “Nothing”. Investigators are just falling from the sky, people (members, investigators, other people) are just calling us every day saying they have friends who they want us to meet and who want to hear about the gospel. So we go and teach them and their families and they’re all so cool.
Something interesting is that most of the people we are teaching are young adults. They’re searching for some sort of direction in their lives and when they hear the message of the restoration, something just interests them and helps fill what they’re looking for. And then they’re all so open to sharing the gospel with their friends and bring them to church and change their lives. I was always scared to talk to the young adults because they’re like our same age and I was just always really uncomfortable but it’s crazy how prepared they are for the gospel. Also, the young adults of our ward are incredible and immediately are bffs with all our investigators and they go to institute together and everything.
Por ejemplo: Jesus is this kid we talked to in the street and he accepted that we could visit him a few days later. He was always really busy and traveling for work. but we’ve been praying for him and turns out his job changed so now he’s got more time and can come to church and go to institute with the other jovenes from our ward. Also, he had a lot of doubts about the Book of Mormon, but the other day, after not hearing from him for like a week, he just called us and said “Hermanas, quiero ser Mormón.” WHAT?? He says he’s seen such a difference in his friends from the church and wants to be a part of that light they have.
Also Milagro: We just ran into her one day, she accepted the Joseph Smith story and came to church the next day and then presented us to her friend also. It’s incredible.
We are so blessed here.
With all the youth we are teaching, it’s cool to see what they need and what touches their hearts. This week we watched a video with lots of them: The Light of Christ.
I love it. I know we can find hope when we humble ourselves sufficiently to let the light of Christ into our lives and start to change us. It’s not going to be easy or immediate, but its worth it and I’m so thankful for the Savior’s atonement and the example of all these great people we are teaching these past couple days. :)
Happy Halloween! In place of pumpkins we carved granadillas today, I think it was a pretty solid substitute. Also, nobody celebrates halloween here so it’s okay.
This week Nora and Juliana got confirmed! Yay! We also have been teaching a new investigator, Jesus who’s super cool. The best lesson was when we went to Nora’s house and were talking about the Book of Mormon, and Nora just whips out her copy (we met her like a month ago and she’s already in Alma and has highlighted all the parts she likes which is basically the whole book) and starts talking about how the Book of Mormon helped her take the decision to be baptized. She then read her favorite scripture about baptism in Mosiah 26:15-24 and the spirit was so strong. Such a good experience.
Actually, we find people everyday who are SO prepared for the gospel. It’s incredible how many people are looking for something and are so excited to hear about how the truth was restored through Joseph Smith. God is so good. I love this area :)
This week I was studying the atonement and did a little experiment. I read about Christ’s sacrifice in the gospels (New Testament) and then in the Book of Mormon. It really surprised me that everything I feel like I understand about the atonement (what Christ did and why he did it for us) comes from the Book of Mormon, The Bible is great and is definitely the word of God but I love the BOM so much, it helps me come closer to Christ. While reading in the Bible, it says a little about what happened in the garden of Gethsemane and when Jesus died on the cross, but while reading the Book of Mormon, I really felt like He suffered for me individually and thanks to his sacrifice, I can be a better person. (check out Alma 7:11-13, Mosiah 3:5-11, 2 Nephi 26: 23-28).
I’m so grateful for the Savior’s sacrifice and for the chance to share his restored gospel with everyone here in my little area of Bolivar of Lima Peru!!